How has your week been so far? It feels like just about everyone we know has had a pretty challenging one. Jay and I’s discussion this week was woven through our own challenges as well as hearing others, seeking true vision through the fog of weariness, social media and RL (real life) weirdness, and then, there’s ourselves. Oi.
It is difficult sometimes to see the way decimation is the beginning of creation.
“Art is simultaneously creation and destruction… The person who wants to escape destruction—a synonym here for change, for letting go of the past—has to avoid creation as well. Neither can go long without involving the other.” -David Ebenbach
We know this by heart so well that it is painful to write the words, but then that’s why we must. It’s true. The question we all need to answer is how do we walk through this with grace? This real, seemingly juxtaposed, way of living? How do we wrap our minds, let alone get our legs moving, while holding these truths in tension? They don’t come to us beautifully wrapped. These realities come to us wrapped in tired skin, in the daily grind, in traffic hour.
“Rabbi Bunin, a Hasidic teacher of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, told his students that they should carry two scrolls with them, one in each pocket. One should read, ‘I am dust and ashes,’ and the other should read, ‘the world was created for me.’ -David Ebenbach
These are the kind of truths that can cut through the noise and obstructions of true vision. It’s humbling, and that’s the point.
“The first thing is to make the difficult commitment to the truth, even when the truth is uncomfortable in some way.” -David Ebenbach
Like a small hole in a ship unattended will cause it to sink, make a commitment in the small things first, so that you do not undermine who you are — who you are created to be. If you choose the difficult path of holding in tension that you are both dust and ash as well as know the whole world was created for you, you will do well. You will live beyond yourself, you will strengthen the fabric of your culture, because anyone who can see this in themself can see it in another as well. Our world needs this. THIS is the foundation of our most important creating, and it starts in every small way.
Make a commitment to knowing that no matter how many friends, followers, or likers you ever have in real life or social media (tens, hundreds, or thousands) there’s always going to be a core of people who stick with you through the highs, the lows, the stretching, the failing, and the accomplishments. Keep your eye on that core, see them, appreciate them. See true.
Make a commitment to hold the possibility that no matter how many excuses we give ourselves for being “blocked”, we’ll be willing to consider the often uncomfortable truth that, as Paul Simon put it, “I think when I get blocked, when I get writer’s block …what it is is that you have something to say but you don’t want to say it. So your mind says, ‘I have no thoughts.’ Closer to the truth is that you have a thought that you would really prefer not to have.” (Zollo, Song Writers, 98)
Make a commitment to call yourself an artist. Say it out loud. Tell somebody. We know that doesn’t feel like a small commitment, but in the big picture, it is. You have been created in the image of a Creator. It’s time to see true, and create.
What Jay has been working on this week. Oops, I mean the last three years:
This is very exciting news around our house. Jay started this comic TWO out-of-state moves ago. I’m deeply proud of him for persevering. This is one of those projects we had to look at and say, “Even if it takes ten years, you’ll finish.” In that light, three years just didn’t feel so bad! Ha.
This is the cover to a story/comic that, in Jay’s words, is an exploration of grace. He’s in the last stages now. Stay tuned!
What we’ve been reading:
“The Artist’s Torah is an uplifting and down-to-earth guide to the creative process, wide open to longtime artists and first-time dabblers, to people of every religious background-or none-and to every creative medium. In this book, you’ll find a yearlong cycle of weekly meditations on a life lived artistically, grounded in ancient Jewish wisdom and the wisdom of artists, composers, writers, and choreographers from the past and present. You’ll explore the nature of the creative process-how it begins, what it’s for, what it asks of you, how you work your way to truth and meaning, what you do when you get blocked, what you do when you’re done-and encounter questions that will help you apply the meditations to your own life and work. Above all, The Artist’s Torah teaches us that creativity is a natural and important part of the human spirit, a bright spark that, week after week, this book will brighten.” (Amazon)
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New Month, New Give-Away!
We’d love to send one of you a copy of Jay’s Western Fairytale Comic, The Adventures of Tomy & Jon this month. Your name will be entered into the drawing by following two simple steps:
- Share this post, and
- Let us know you did. (comment here or elsewhere, private or public)
We are grateful for you each, and appreciate how often you have shared our posts, written us with your feedback, and inspired us to keep going. Thank you!
Remember creativity is a muscle. Create, be happy, create more.
Thank you everyone for your support! From being a part of our community, to sharing these posts, we appreciate you!
Have a great weekend everyone,
Jay & Raynna
Please share this with anyone else you think may be encouraged by these kind of updates. Thanks!